HGV’s without safety equipment are to be banned from London in a bid to help protect cyclists and pedestrians.
The proposed ‘Safer Lorry Scheme’ was confirmed by the Mayor, Boris Johnson, Transport for London and London Councils after it received 90% support in a public consultation.
According to TFL, the scheme will require vehicles of more than 3.5 tonnes to be fitted with side-guards to protect cyclists from being dragged under the wheels in the event of a collision, along with Class V and Class VI mirrors to give the driver a better view of cyclists and pedestrians around their vehicle.
The scheme, which is due to come into force in September, will apply to all roads in Greater London, except motorways, and will operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It will be enforced by the police, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and the joint TfL and DfT-funded Industrial HGV Taskforce. TfL said that the maximum fine for each breach will be £1000 and the operator will also be referred for consideration to the relevant Traffic Commissioner, who is reponsible for the licensing and regulation of HGV operators.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Improving the safety of London’s roads is a top priority. We know that a large number of cyclist deaths and serious injuries involve a relatively small number of trucks and lorries that are not fitted with basic safety equipment. Such vehicles are not welcome in the capital and the Safer Lorry Scheme will see them effectively banned from our streets. The lives of thousands of cyclists and pedestrians will be much safer as a result and I urge all operators of HGVs to get on board and make it a success.”
According to TfL, HGVs are disproportionately represented in cyclist fatalities in the capital, with nine of the 14 cyclist deaths in London in 2013 involving HGVs. Although the number of serious collisions involving cyclists and HGVs in 2014 decreased, TfL says that it remains committed to its aim of reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured in London by 40% over the next five years.
With thanks to RoSPA Safety Express publication